When South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore shredded his knee during his final season with the Gamecocks, a lot of people questioned whether he’d ever have the NFL career he appeared destined to for befre the injury. It’s true that Lattimore may never be the back he could have been had he not torn up his knee in college, but it’s also true that he’s expected to compete for the San Francisco 49ers running back job in 2014.
The 49ers drafted Lattimore thanks to a wealth of draft picks last year, and after sitting him for an entire season, head coach Jim Harbaugh said he’s hopeful that Lattimore will compete in 2014.
Per the Sacramento Bee:
Lattimore also suffered tears to his PCL and MCL as well as a dislocated kneecap. Harbaugh expected that both players would compete for roles in the upcoming season. … Lattimore will compete with Frank Gore, Kendall Hunter and LaMichael James for playing time during the offseason.
San Francisco’s backfield is crowded at the moment, but there’s ample opportunity for Lattimore to shine. Frank Gore is on the decline and won’t hang onto the job forever and there’s a chance that the Niners could lose Hunter or James in the coming years.
Lattimore can also take solace in the fact that while Gore was owning the starting role, Harbaugh found roles for Hunter and James on the team, something the former Gamecocks running back can look forward to should he earn it.